To all appearances, Voice Over in iOS lacks the ability to search text in apps and on webpages to this day.
Yet this would be a smart and powerful feature, potentially able to significantly speed up VO experience.
Honestly, I am a bit surprised Apple has not given it any thought in nearly 10 years of Voice Over in iOS.
Should we make a suggestion to Apple, what do you think?
By Felix, 1 February, 2019
iOS and iPadOS
I can't believe it either
It baffles me honestly as to how this is possible. I know you can do it a little bit on a Bluetooth keyboard, but that's about it. Item finder can ... sometimes be used for that, but it's hardly reliable.
Find text in iOS
The ability to search for text in iOS directly instead of having to use the Item Chooser is a feature which would go a long way toward improving productivity and eficiency. We have this ability in Windows, especially when using a browser with a screen reader. Why not in iOS?
Accessibility vs. Productivity
Yes, I agree. A find feature would be great to have. I would also like to see the ability to to create temperary and/or permanent placemarkers in documents and web pages as we can with other screen readers.
This brings up an issue I often remind people (especially developers) about. There is a difference between a program being "accessible" and a program that can be used efficiently and productively by a blind user. Just because we can navigate to and read all elements on the display doesn't necessarily mean the program is as efficient to use for a blind user as it is for a sighted user. This is one of the reasons I've stuck with Windows PC's. The scripting languages available for Windows screen readers make it possible to customize the experience of using an aplication for the screen reader user and make programs more productive and efficient to use without having to see the screen. If we don't have the ability to make programs productive and efficient to use we will not be able to compete with our sighted peers even if the program is "accessible".
You can find text with a Braille Display.
I'm sure that Braille users have additional perks to their iOS devices, and being able to find text is one of them. I am able to do so, using my Braille Note Touch as a Braille display with Bluetooth. I am not sure if this is possible with other displays, but pressing the command SPACE with F together will bring up a VoiceOver find alert, and you are able to type up a string you want to find, then press enter. Most of the time, it works especially when reading text in emails, word processors, and Web pages. I haven't tried that in other third-party apps that much. But I know that feature is implemented for us that own Braille displays in iOS.
I understand that not many can own a Braille device, let alone the expence involved. So, yes, Apple needs to implement this as an additional gesture. Unless, there is one, but I'm not aware of it? Anyways, that would be a great feature to put in iOS 13.0 when it comes out this Fall. This function along with many other MacOS features like Web Spots and the ability to do AppleScript on an iOS device would be greatly apprreciated, as yes, we need to consider our efficiency especially while on the job. Which, by the way, almost 80 - 90% of the workforce uses Windows is because that OS lends very well itself with prodoctivity and efficiency, even with screen readers.
Anyways, I hope Apple is listening in on these forum topics. I am sure they will find way to do it.
There's a way to search text
There's a way to search text in a page using Safari, but VoiceOver didn't seem to tell me when I jumped to a result. Tap the share button in the nav bar at the bottom of the screen. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the share sheet (easiest way I found is a four finger tap on the bottom of the screen, then flick left tell you get to the find text in page option). That brings up a text field where you can type something in. Once you tap the search button it's supposed to take you there, but VoiceOver doesn't seem to indicate this. Same with the previous and next buttons that show up after you search for something. Hmmm... maybe they could put in a search results rotor option?
Re: #5 There's a Way to search
Thanks for the instructions on how to search within Saffari. Talk about "accessibility" of an app versus the ability to be efficient and productive with an app! If one had to follow those steps to find text in a web page each time one was looking for specific text they would never get anything done.
Perhaps one of the currently
Perhaps one of the currently unmapped flicks or taps could be assigned to a fully functional text search in all apps, like 2 fingers flick left or 4 fingers triple tap?
there is a way if you use a bluetooth keyboard
I am using a bluetooth keyboard and am just pressing VO.f for entering search and VO+g to search next.
Also, you can use the item chooser; there is a search feature there.
That is not reliable in most cases though.